We're part of UCCS Student Affairs division. We're designed to serve the counseling and mental health-related needs of UCCS students. Our mission is threefold:
- to assist UCCS students with their academic success when personal/psychological matters are complicating and interfering with the students’ efforts;
- to serve as a training site for graduate students in Clinical Psychology and Counseling fields; and
- in accordance with UCCS tradition, create, implement, and develop services that are open to various organizations in the community.
The services for the UCCS students help them achieve their educational goals, define their career goals, learn more about problem solving processes, enhance their capacity for satisfying interpersonal relationships, and maximize their capacity for continued emotional growth. Students in other training programs can apply for clinical training for Practicum or Internship slots on a competitive basis. We are a critical component of current PhD, PsyD, and master’s level training because we serve as one of the primary training sites for doctoral and master’s students. We are currently housed in the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center on the UCCS Campus. We have 7 licensed psychologists of staff, one licensed professional counselor and 1 licensed clinical social worker. We have 15 offices with 8 of them equipped with video recording technology and two large group rooms. One group room is a full kitchen to expand our offerings for eating disorder/body image therapeutic work along with space for our dieticians to provide services. MHS is within the Wellness Center which also has our health services with a medicial director, 4+ nurse practitioners and medical lab, 1 psychiatric nurse practitioner, a chiropractor and massage therapist as well as our wellness promotion office.
In addition to clinical service provision, the MHS functions as a primary training site for Ph.D. and Psy.D. candidates in clinical psychology. The aim of the internship training program at UCCS MHS is to train generalist health service psychologists in a multidisciplinary college mental health setting. The major components of the training program are direct clinical experience, individual and group supervision, didactic/seminar trainings provided by clinical staff, participation in all staff meetings, interaction and collaboration with clinical staff, clinical and educational collaborations with community agencies, and case presentations and discussions.
The Internship experience is considered one of the most important professional activities in which Interns engage during their PhD/PsyD in a Clinical Psychology or Counseling degree programs. Interns are given opportunities to synthesize and apply knowledge gained in their course of study and other academic pursuits. Through the sharing of experiences in supervision, Interns refine existing skills and acquire new skills.
Psychology Interns will begin to see up to five clients in the first 2 months and then will gradually build their client load to 50% of their hours within the first semester under supervision. The overall objective of this semester is to help the Interns at this level continue to develop a professional identity, learn how to interview and evaluate clients, compose documentation for their services, provide case presentations, and get ready for their additional internship experience in a professional setting.
Internship Objectives: The Internship is designed to facilitate refinement of assessment, psychotherapy, and interviewing skills and the development of new clinical skills. Interns can expand their repertoire of assessment and psychotherapy techniques and interpersonal relationship skills.
Internship Aims: The MHS Internship is designed to synthesize and apply knowledge of psychotherapy, psychological evaluation, and professional identity, as well as to develop new clinical skills in order to prepare interns for a professional role as a scientist-practitioner in health psychology. Interns will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to implementing and expanding the following skills:
- Establishing and maintaining a helpful, supportive, and professional psychotherapy relationship with clients;
- Developing and applying of appropriate assessment and psychotherapy techniques;
- Creating case formulations to include – history, diagnosis, case conceptualization, and treatment planning;
- Maintaining client records;
- Learning about and using community resources when appropriate;
- Working effectively with supervisors, colleagues, and peers including appropriate consultation, analysis and presentation of sessions and case formulation;
- Continuing development of professional identity and behaviors;
- Showing enthusiasm for and commitment to the field of Psychology;
- Continuing a willingness to learn including receptivity to feedback from clients, peers, supervisors, and others on the training team;
- Continuing development of personal traits that are conducive to effective counseling, learning, and professional development;
- Developing and using feedback methods, both providing and receiving feedback, that enhance relationships with supervisors, clients, and peers, and enrich self-understanding;
- Understanding responsibilities involved with respective roles of psychology/counseling Trainee and academic Trainee-researcher; and
- Developing a professional role as a scientist-practitioner.
The University Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) offers Psychology Internships at our Wellness Center Mental Health Services. Interns are given a stipend of $34,800 plus benefits. UCCS offers a variety of benefits & perks to employees and their families. CU health (medical, dental, vision), financial, and retirement benefits are administered by Employee Services, the CU System office in Denver that serves all four campuses.
Here at UCCS we are leading the way in collegiate wellness by having Campus Recreation, Health Services, Mental Health Services, Nutrition Services, and Wellness Promotion together in the expanded Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center. This innovative model provides integrated and collaborative services and programming to help enhance student’s health and wellness. Colorado Springs, CO sits at the base of the beautiful Pikes Peak mountain and our mountains provide a wonderful opportunity for our community to enjoy the outdoors. Our campus, as well as our city, is focused on creating a wholistic approach to health and wellbeing. We provide mental health services for a campus with traditional students, as well as commuter students. Additionally, because of our many military bases in the area we have a significant number of our students who are military affiliated and we serve a number of veterans and their families. The internship program at UCCS provides many opportunities for direct service to our students through a variety of mental health issues, psychological assessments/testing, as well as being a part of a proactive team that is educating our students on achieving health and wellness.
Mental Health Services (MHS) offers a variety of psychotherapy services to students who are currently enrolled at UCCS.
MHS provides individual psychotherapy for students who come with a wide variety of issues. Some of the most common issues that bring UCCS students to our Wellness Center are:
- confusion about life goals
- a variety of traumatic events
- Identity and sexual orientation concerns
- alcohol and substance abuse
- eating/appetite/weight issues
- depression and other mood disorders
- relationship conflicts
- variety of anxiety disorders
- grief and loss
- sexual issues
- test anxiety
- difficulties coping with stress
Couples and Family Therapy
- Couples may seek marital, premarital, divorce, sexual adjustment, or alternate life- counseling. Counseling is available for the student and their partner whether the goal is to improve a good relationship or to deal with a relationship in trouble. At times a student's personal issues originate from early life experiences or involve certain other family members. When appropriate, a student may want to do some family therapy.
MHS offers a variety of therapy groups for our students. Students may participate in most of these groups as the only service at MHS or may use groups as an additional part of their treatment, along with individual or couples therapy, to enhance their experience.
Surviving the Pandemic with DBT Skills: Are you feeling out of control during these uncertain times in your thoughts, emotions, relationships, or behaviors? In this group you will learn many coping skills that will help you create more balance in your life during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on taking control in areas that you can.
Support for Survivors Group: This is a group for students who have survived any type of traumatizing experience that is sexual in nature. During this time of increased social isolation due to COVID-19, we want to provide a gentle and safe place for survivors to connect and support each other. Sexual violence impacts all genders and sexual identities, and a staggering number of people experience sexual violence at some point in their lives. You are not alone!
Mindfulness Group: The practice of mindfulness has been linked to psychological well-being. Research suggests that as little as three minutes of daily practice can reduce our perceptions of stress. Mindfulness practice can help you monitor and manage your thinking and emotions, enabling you to be proactive rather than reactive when experiencing stressful times, such as the current state of the pandemic and the plethora of unknowns. This 5-week mindfulness group is designed to help you transition from living life on "automatic pilot" to living life in the present moment and develop self-acceptance, patience, and compassion.
LGBTQIA+ Support and Process Group: This is a support and process group for the LGBTQIAP+ community with therapeutic guidance from facilitators. It will provide a safe space for those identifying under the LGBTQIAP+ umbrella during the current pandemic. We will use this space to process topics related to being a member of this community.
Students of Color Group: Are you a person of color in need of safe and supportive space to process emotions related to being in a pandemic and civil unrest? If so, Student of Color group is here for you. This group offers a safe and supportive environment where we can engage in open dialogue about issues we may be facing, including discrimination, oppression, and racism. In this group find representative community and support for coping in the broader racial and social context both here at UCCS and globally.
Eating Disorder Interpersonal Group: This group will focus on helping those who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, believe they have an eating disorder, or are in recovery from an eating disorder. We will explore how our relationships and our daily functioning during this stressful time are impacted by the way we view and fuel our bodies.
Couples Communication During Our “New normal” Group: Communication can be difficult during “normal” times, but what about when our world has been turned upside down and our “new normal” is different than what we used to have? This group will focus on couples who are struggling with having effective communication within their relationship. Skills will be taught to help the couple specifically ask for what they need or want from each other while maintaining a strong relationship.
Ally Group: Explore and discuss being a stronger, more competent and effective ally in race relations. This is a free and non-clinical group, open to anyone who would like to have informed, intelligent, inclusive, sensitive discussions while exploring their own identities in relationship to others.
Self-Acceptance Group: This group includes body positivity and acceptance in a broader format. During times of crisis, we often struggle to respond to ourselves with compassion and acceptance. In this group, we’ll examine various aspects of wellness and how to respond to all aspects of self with kindness. This group will be educational and supportive.
Body Positivity Group: Many are struggling with body issues during the pandemic. This group supports those struggling with unhelpful food habits and negative thoughts about body image. This group is a skills-based group with a sharing and processing component.
Grief and Loss Group: This groups supports students experiencing loss and bereavement. Loss comes in many forms: the loss of a person, the loss of relationships, or even the loss of stability and security. While this specific group is for those who have lost someone important to them, we encourage you to reach out with ANY loss, as we are able to form groups for symbolic loss as well. (i.e. The loss of a relationship, declining health, loss of future plans because of COVID, etc.) This group will be process oriented, allowing participants to share and gain support from peers and facilitators, while also offering education on relevant and helpful ways to cope with the pain of loss.
Test Anxiety Group: Do you find yourself stressed out at test time? Join us to learn how to manage that testing anxiety for a better school experience. Contact the Wellness Center front desk to set up a brief meeting to learn more about the group. You don’t have to be in individual therapy to participate.
Stand Alone Support Group: Stand Alone is a free, nonclinical group for students who lack support from family members and are paying their own way through college. During this time of increased social isolation due to COVID-19, we want to provide you with the opportunity to receive extra emotional support and to connect with others who are struggling with similar circumstances. You will receive information about resources to help decrease your stress and increase your success. Topics the group will cover include affordable housing; financial planning and credit; what to do if you run out of groceries; and, how to manage conflict with roommates.
- At the Wellness Center we administer psychological and cognitive assessments to be able to provide formal diagnoses, establish disabilities for appropriate accommodations, and/or to provide guiding information for treatment.
Psychology Interns Experience with MHS Services
- Psychology interns at MHS have the opportunity to provide individual, couple’s and/or family therapy. Interns will screen new students for triage, and going through the entire psychotherapy process with the appropriate documentation for services to include writing intake reports, treatment contracts, termination reports and session progress notes under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Interns will also facilitate groups that fit within their area of interest or provide expansion of current experience in groups. Interns are asked to schedule 50% of their time to provide direct clinical services. As a part of the direct service hours, interns will carry out psychological evaluations to have the opportunity to learn to administer and interpret psychological test batteries based on assessment questions under the supervision of licensed psychologists. They will gain experience writing concise, well integrated reports and individualized recommendations that convey meaningful information for clients and/or referral sources. Referral concerns at MHS range from emotional adjustment issues to potential cognitive impairments. Experience with psychological evaluations supports interns in learning how to make accurate and efficient diagnostic, treatment, and referral decisions, in addition to effective accommodations recommendations, if appropriate. Interns will also learn the process of providing clinical supervision and will supervise a practicum student under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The remaining time may be spent developing and presenting psychoeducational materials that are relevant and appropriate for the university campus community, in collaboration with the wellness promotion team.
Information You'll Need
A completed application includes:
- A cover letter.
- A completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI), available at the APPIC web site: www.appic.org.
- A current curriculum vitae.
- Official transcripts of academic records of all graduate work.
- APPIC Standardized Reference Form (SRF) from three persons, two of which must be from clinical supervisors.
- A Certification of Internship Readiness form completed by the program chair or the director of training of your graduate program (included in the AAPI).
Send all application materials through the AAPI portal to Training Director: Cathy Calvert, DCT
Other correspondence may be addressed to:
Cathy Calvert, PsyD
Director of Clinical Training
Recreation and Wellness Center
Mental Health Services
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Fax (719) 255-4446
Pronouns: she, her, hers
The interview process at UCCS will include contact after receiving your application through an email. This email will indicate whether the applicants will move forward in the process for an interview with the UCCS Mental Health Services staff. The interviews are done virtually through Zoom and will be 30-45 minutes with the UCCS Mental Health Services staff who are available. This can be up to 10 possible interviewers. There will be specific questions that the staff will ask and then we will allow for time at the end for the applicants to ask any questions about the internship. Preference will be given to applicants who meet a minimum of 400 direct hours during practicum training. If the applicants do not meet the 400 direct hours required we will ask for additional information as to the reason for less direct hours, such as how has COVID - 19 possibly impacted their ability to obtain hours. Applicants with less than minimum direct hours will be considered during the upcoming application cycle, as long as all other prerequisites are met. Applicants who are interested in contacting our previous intern may reach out to the training director for the contact information.
* Please know if you have ever used any of the clinical services of the Wellness Center Mental Health Services, formerly known as UCCS University Counseling Center, you are ineligible to apply for training.
Performance and Expectations Standards
Expectations Regarding University Policy and State Law
All interns must pass a criminal background check prior to the first day of internship. Although interns are engaged in an educational training process, they are also university employees. As such, interns are subject to the laws of the state of Colorado, and therefore their employment is at will.
Performance and Expectations Standards include information about:
Intern Personal Disclosure
The internship training program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association’s 2002 Ethical Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) as contained in the Revised Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002).
Expectations Regarding Clinical Competence
Expectations Regarding Interpersonal Competence
Due Process for Psychology Interns
General Guidelines for Due Process
Due process ensures that judgments or decisions made by the internship program about interns are not arbitrary or personally biased. The training program has adopted specific evaluation procedures which are applied to all trainees. The appeals procedures presented below are available to the intern so that they may address or challenge the program’s action.
General Due Process Guidelines Include information about:
Processes for Interns and for Supervisors/Director of Clinical Training
Procedures to Respond to Problematic Behavior or Inadequate Performance
Notification Procedures to Address Problematic Behavior or Inadequate Performance
Purpose and Components of the Remediation Plan
Dismissal from the Training Program
The internship year provides many opportunities for interaction between interns and staff. It is a time of significant professional as well as personal growth, and transition between the status of “student” and that of “professional”. As a result of these complex dynamics, there is also the opportunity for conflict to arise on various levels. In the event a trainee encounters difficulties or problems with a supervisor or other staff member or the quality of the program overall (e.g. inadequate supervision, unavailability of supervisor(s), workload issues, personality clashes, other staff conflicts, robustness of the training), the MHS has grievance procedures which are established to aid in the resolution of the problem.
Psychology Intern Evaluation
Interns are asked to fill out a competency self-assessment prior to starting their internship to identify their areas of strength and areas for growth throughout the year. Additionally, all Intern applications will include a confirmation from the academic program, Director of Clinical Training, verifying the Intern has completed all necessary training and education to start Internship. Interns will be formally evaluated by their Individual Supervisor on an APA Profession Wide Competencies (Appendix C) and activities a minimum of two times per year, as well as formally evaluated by their Group Supervisors, Assessment Supervisors and others if appropriate at the end of each semester.
A formal evaluation will be provided to the Intern’s academic program Director of Clinical Training at the middle of the internship and at the end of the Internship. In addition to the academic program requirements, the Interns and their Supervisors will be asked to complete the MHS’s internal evaluation documents.
More details about each area can be found in the Psychology Internship Protocols and Procedures Training Manual under Performance and Expectations Standards (pgs 31-38).
Sample of Psychology Internship Curriculum
Our curriculum encompasses seven specific areas of training:
- Professional Development
- Addiction and Addictive Behaviors
Topics for trainings will fit within these areas and expand to include various populations and presenting issues for a college campus.
- Understanding Personal Diversity
- Understanding My Own Identities/Acculturation
- Bias, Power, Privilege
- Diversity in the Therapeutic Process
Treatment Modalities Overview
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
3. Creating Space for Art
4. Existential Therapy
5. Working with Grief and Loss
6. Motivational Interviewing
7. Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy
8. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
9. Solution Focused Therapy
10. Mindfulness for the College Population
11. Using Narrative Therapy for Trauma Work
1. Collaborative Care for Eating Disorders
2. Eating Disorders 101 – How to identify eating disorders or disordered eating with clients
3. Body Image and Body Size Diversity
Substance Use and Abuse
1. Substance Abuse and Counseling
2. Harm Reduction with a College Population
College Campus Specific Trainings
1. The Shape of iGen: Discussing Generational Trends Presented in Dr. Jean Twenge’s Book and Exploring Ways to Promote Wellness Among College Students
2. SAFEZONE – working with the LGBTQ+ campus community
1. Tools of the Trade: Introduction to Three Levels of Psychological Assessments
2. Assessing Attention Deficits in College Students
3. Assessing Memory Impairment, Effort and Malingering in College Students
4. College Career Assessments
5. College Trauma Assessments
6. Assessing Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities in College Students
Marriage and Family
1. The Role of Family Systems in the Treatment of Trauma
2. Theories and Techniques of Marriage and Family
1. Religion, Spirituality, and Psychology: An Introduction
2. Religion and Spirituality in the Therapy Room
Working with a Crisis/Emergency
1. Emergency Evaluation and Crisis Intervention
2. Complex Traumatic Stress: Constructs that Matter
Other Important Aspects of Treatment
1. Case Conceptualization and Diagnosis
2. Compassion Fatigue and Self Care
1. Understanding Supervision Models
2. Facilitating Therapist Development and Developing Stages
3. Diversity Issues in Supervision
1. Developing Professional Identity
2. Career paths for Psychologists
3. Group Discussion Around Private Practice/Professional Development
4. Consultation and Outreach; Communication with Other Professionals
5. An Exploration of Ethics and Legal Issues for Psychologists in Colorado
And much more….
The internship year at MHS is designed to develop each intern’s knowledge, skill, and abilities in a wide range of activities. Before beginning the internship year, the training director contacts each intern and their academic training director, or otherwise reviews internship application materials, to become familiar with the intern’s strengths and needs for further training. The intern is asked to fill out an Intern Self-Assessment Form prior to the start date to begin formulating a plan through understanding the intern’s concept of strengths and areas of growth for the coming year. The primary supervisor then works with the intern to develop an individual plan to facilitate their professional development during the training year using APA competencies. This plan is designed to balance the developmental needs of each intern with professional considerations, ethical factors, and the needs of the MHS.
Interns are required to attend the initial orientation prior to the start of the fall semester. The orientation is designed to acquaint all interns with MHS Protocols, policies and procedures, university regulations, ethical and service delivery guidelines, and orientation to culturally competent practice. There are additional trainings for the interns on crisis/emergency screenings as well as training on the psychological assessments provided for our UCCS students.